AspirinWe all take Aspirin pretty much for granted, but did you know that before Aspirin was available, people used willow bark! They didn’t understand how or why it worked, but chewing on a section of bark did in fact relieve pain. It was even suggested that it should be used during childbirth. Can’t see that helping!

I did a little searching and went through some books to see what else I could find out. Actually, the history was quite interesting, but then I found something else¦ a few bizarre uses!

Aspirin as we know it was supposedly created in 1897, but it can be traced back about 3500 years.  Hippocrates (the father of  technical medicine) discovered recipes that used the bark of the willow tree (mentioned above) to produce a powder that would relieve headaches, pain and fever. This substance would be used for generations.

But it was centuries later that the first known recipe for “Aspirin” was bought from an Egyptian street vendor by a German Egyptologist named Georg Ebers. It revealed that an infusion of dried myrtle leaves could bring about relief for rheumatic and back pain. Apparently the Egyptians had been using the leaves for years. We now know that the myrtle leaves contain a term that we are very familiar with… salicylic acid. That was to be refined into the product that we are familiar with today.

Did You Know…

In the early days, Aspirin was first sold in the form of a powder.

It wasn’t until  1915, that the first tablets were made. It was during this year that they also became available without prescription.

1952, Children’s Chewable Aspirins were introduced. Remember those? They were a soft orange color and tasted pretty good if I remember correctly!

It is thought that in the last hundred years, one trillion Aspirin tablets have been consumed. That is a lot of Aspirin!

Here is something interesting. Guess what was included in the medicine kits of the astronauts that went to the moon… you guessed it, Bayer Aspirin.

A friend once told me that she used crushed Aspirin in her shampoo to help control dandruff. I looked it up and sure enough, there is salicylic acid in dandruff shampoos.

I also did a little checking and found that wart removal products also contain salicylic acid which  explains the old wive’s tale of applying a damp Aspirin to a wart and then covering it with a bandage.